International Fee Refund

International Fee Refund

SUMMARY

The International Fee Refund Policy establishes how Macquarie University will manage refunds of tuition fees and other administrative fees for full-fee paying international students.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

This policy specifies how Macquarie University will manage refunds of tuition fees and other administrative fees for fee paying international students.

2     BACKGROUND

Education institutions delivering courses to international fee paying students are required to comply with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000, the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code) and to meet their obligations under the Tuition Protection Service framework.

This policy specifies the conditions and timing for managing tuition fee refunds to enable compliance with the relevant legislation.

3     SCOPE

This policy applies to fees paid to Macquarie University by international fee paying students for tuition charges.

This policy does not cover:

  • Students enrolled in the Master of Research (MRes) Program and Higher Degree Research candidates who are covered by the refund policy of the Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO).
  • Students who are enrolled at Macquarie University and are receiving funding under United States Direct Loan program where there are specific regulations that overrule the provisions of this policy (see the US Financial Aid Policy).
  • Students who participate in the inbound Study Abroad program and who pay fees to a third party provider or home institution, will be subject to the refund policy of that provider or institution.
  • Fees for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) payable to the University’s Health Insurance provider. The Insurance Provider has their own refund policy that applies to fees paid by a student, sponsor or by the University on behalf of the student.
  • Fees payable to any Third Party Providers who deliver courses offered to students as part of a Packaged Program.

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Census Date: Census date forms part of the University’s calendar of Important Academic Dates. Actual dates for each study period are published on the University website under  Important Dates.

Commencement Date: The first day of the student’s Commencing Study Period as detailed in the Letter of Offer. This will usually be the Monday of the student’s first week of classes.

Commencement Fee: A deposit charged to international students when they accept their offer of admission to the University which contributes towards the tuition fees in their course(s). The amount of the Commencement Fee is specified in the Letter of Offer. Some categories of students may be eligible to pay a partial or $0.00 Commencement Fee.

Commencing Student: An international student who has accepted the offer of a University place and who will commence their course on the Commencement Date or who has commenced their course and is in their Commencing Study Period.

Commencing Study Period: The first study period in which the student enrolls in the course. For students enrolled in a program at Macquarie University International College (MUIC) or Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) or Macquarie University Applied Finance Centre (MAFC) program, the Commencing Study Period is deemed to be the first two terms.

Confirmation of Enrolment (COE): Document provided to an international student when they have accepted the offer of admission to a course. This document is produced from the Department of Education and Training’s PRISMS system.

Continuing Student: A student who has completed the Commencing Study Period in the course and remains effectively enrolled.

Course: A program of study which includes study periods that may be called a session, semester or term. A course does not include English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Student (ELICOS) for the purpose of this policy.

Deduction Amount: Amount deducted from an approved fee reversal or refund

ELC: Macquarie University English Language Centre.

ELC Student: A student enrolled in an English Language Course.

English Language Commencement Fee: A deposit, charged to fee paying international students when they accept the offer of admission to the English Language Course at ELC which contributes towards the tuition fees of their English Language Commencing Study Period.

English Language Commencing Study Period: The first five (5) Study Blocks of the English Language Course in which the student enrolls at ELC. For students enrolled in an English Language Course which includes five (5) or less Study Blocks, the English Language Commencing Study Period is deemed to be the entire duration of the English Language Course.

English Language Course: An ELICOS program which includes up to 12 study blocks.

English Language Study Block: A period of English Language study of 5 weeks.

English Language Subsequent Study Period: The remaining or additional English Language study period after the English Language Commencing Study Period.

Enrolment Fee: An administrative fee changed to international students when they accept their offer of admission to the English Language Course.

ESOS: The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cwlth), is a set of legislative requirements and standards for the regulation of education and training institutions offering courses to international students in Australia on a student visa.

Fee Refund: A process whereby the University pays funds from the student’s University account to the student or approved third party. Fee refunds are not the same as fee reversals.

Fee Reversal: A process whereby fees that were charged to the student’s University account are reversed or waived.

International Student: A student enrolled in a Macquarie University course or unit who is not an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident or a New Zealand Citizen.

Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty: This forms part of the University’s calendar of Important Academic Dates. Actual dates for each study period are published on the University website under Important Dates.

Letter of Offer: Document provided to international applicants which details the Course, Intake, Fees and conditions for which they have been offered admission.

Packaged Program: A program that includes multiple courses, which may or may not be wholly provided by the University.

Sponsored student: A student who is sponsored by a third party who has provided the University with a Financial Guarantee for the cost of all or part of the tuition and other related fees.

Study Period: A period of study of up to 24 weeks.

Tuition Fees: Fees payable by an International student to the University for each Study Period.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

Eligibility for Refund of Tuition Fees

1. Where a Commencing Student withdraws from a Course

The Commencement Fee is a deposit, charged to fee paying international students when they accept the offer of admission to the University.

(a) Where a commencing student withdraws from a course prior to, or during, their Commencing Study Period and requests a refund of fees in writing, the University will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal Date

Deduction Amount

i. Prior to Commencement Date:

20% of Commencement Fee

ii. After arrival in Australia from offshore but prior to the Commencement Date

20% of Commencement Fee

iii. On or after Commencement Date but on or before Census Date:

50% of Commencement Fee

iv. After Census Date:

100% of Commencement Fee

When Commencing Study Period contains more than one (1) Study period, the Census date of the first Study Period will be considered as the Census date for the Commencing Study Period.

(b) Where a student was not charged a Commencement Fee, or was charged a partial Commencement Fee e.g. less than the Tuition Fee for the Commencing Study period, the Tuition Fee charged for the Commencing study period will be considered the Commencement Fee for the purpose of this policy and will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) above.

(c) Where a commencing student withdraws from a course and provides documentary evidence that the application for a visa has been refused, the University may provide a full refund of the Commencement Fee paid.

(d) Where a commencing student obtains permanent residency prior to Census Date, and completes a 'Notification of Residency Change of Status' form, with documentary evidence prior to census date, the student will be liable for the full fees applying to domestic students. The student may apply for a refund of the Commencement Fee paid and may be eligible for a partial refund in accordance with condition 1(a)(i) above.

Where the student obtains Permanent Residency Status after Census Date or advises the University after Census Date, the student will be classified as an international student for the remainder of that Study Period.

(e) Where a student has completed a course in a packaged program and did not meet the entry requirements of the subsequent University course, the student may be made an offer in an alternative course for which they do meet the entry requirements.

Alternatively, a student may apply to withdraw and will be eligible for a partial refund as per condition 1(a)(i) above.

(f) Where a student does not commence the course and has not previously notified the University of their intention to withdraw from the course, the student’s offer will be withdrawn and the Department of Home Affairs will be notified by cancellation of the student’s COE

The student will be requested to submit withdrawal and refund documentation and will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) (i) above.

2. Where a Continuing Student withdraws from a course

Tuition fees for continuing students enrolling in subsequent study periods are due on or before the start of the Study Period.

(a) Where a Continuing Student withdraws from a course during a subsequent Study Period and requests a refund of fees in writing, the university will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal Date

Deduction Amount

i. Prior to   the first day of Study Period:

0%. Full refund of Tuition Fees Paid for the Study Period

ii. On or after the first day of Study Period but   on or before Census Date:

20% of Tuition Fees for the Study Period

iii. After Census Date:

100% of Tuition Fees for the Study Period

(b) Where a Continuing Student is excluded from their course and has already paid tuition fees for the first Study Period of their exclusion, they will be eligible for a full refund as per condition 2(a)(i) above.

(c) For the purpose of the refund policy, an International Student who withdraws from a Study Abroad Program is considered a Continuing Student and will be eligible for a refund as per condition 2(a).

(d) Where a Continuing Student obtains permanent residency prior to Census Date and notifies the University in the prescribed manner, with documentary evidence prior to Census Date, the student will be liable for the full fees applying to domestic students. The student may apply for a refund of Tuition Fees paid and may be eligible for a refund in accordance with condition 2(a)(i) above.

Where the student obtains Permanent Residency Status after Census Date or advises the University after Census Date, the student will be classified as an International Student for the remainder of that Study Period.

(e) Where a Continuing Student withdraws from unit(s) after Census Date and is automatically assigned a “Withdrawn” status (on or prior to the Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty) or a “Fail Withdrawn” status (after the Last Date to Withdraw from a Unit Without Academic Penalty) for the unit(s), condition 2(a)(iii) will apply.

3. Where an ELC student withdraws from an English Language Course

(a)  Where an ELC Student withdraws from a course prior to, or during, their study at ELC and requests a refund of English Language Commencement fee in writing, the University will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal Date

Deduction Amount

i. Prior   to Commencement Date:

20% of English Language Commencement Fee

ii. On or after commencement date and during the   first Study Block of the English Language Commencing Study Period

50% of English Language commencement fee

iii. After the first Study Block of the English   Language Commencing Study Period

100% of English Language Commencement Fee

(b)  Where an ELC Student withdraws from a course during their study at ELC and requests a refund of English Language Tuition Fees paid for English Language Subsequent Study Periods in writing, the University will deduct the following amounts:

Withdrawal Date

Deduction Amount

i. Prior   to the first day of the Subsequent Study Period:

0%. Full refund of the English Language Tuition Fee for the Subsequent Study Period

ii, On or after the first day of the Subsequent   Study Period

100% of the English Language Tuition fee for each Study Block of the Subsequent Study Period that has commenced

(c)  Where an ELC student is excluded from their course during their study at ELC, the University will deduct the following amounts:

Exclusion Date

Deduction Amount

i. Prior   to the first day of the Subsequent Study Period:

100% of the English Language Commencement Fee and 0% of the English Language Tuition Fee for the Subsequent Study Period

ii. On or after the first day of the Subsequent   Study Period

100% of the English Language Tuition Fee for the Commencing Study Period and 100% of the English Language Tuition Fee for each Study Bock of the Subsequent Study Period that has commenced

(d)  Where a commencing student withdraws from an English Language Course and provides documentary evidence that the application for a visa has been refused, the University may provide a full refund of the English Language Commencement Fee paid.

(e)  Where an ELC student withdraws or is excluded from an English Language Course, the student may apply for a refund of the Commencement Fee paid for the non-English Language Course in the Packaged Program and may be eligible for a partial refund in accordance with condition 1(a)(i) above.

(f)    Where an ELC student does not commence the English course, and has not previously notified the University of their intention to withdraw from the course, the student’s offer will be withdrawn and the Department of Home Affairs will be notified by cancellation of the student’s COE.

The student will be requested to submit withdrawal and refund documentation and will be refunded in accordance with condition 3(a) (i) above for the English Language Commencement Fee paid. If student accepted a Package Program, the student will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) (i) above for the Commencement Fee paid for the non-English Language Course.

(g)  Where an ELC student is granted permission to defer his/her studies, the English Language Commencement Fee may be held for a period of one (1) calendar year from the date of written application. The student must notify the University in advance of the student’s intended return date. The credit will remain in the student’s account and will be allocated towards the English Language tuition fees for the new Commencing Study Period.

If the student chooses not to resume his/her enrolment, the student will be requested to submit withdrawal and refund documentation and will be refunded in accordance with condition 3(a) (i) above for the English Language Commencement Fee paid. If the student accepted a Package Program, the student will be refunded in accordance with condition 1(a) (i) above for the Commencement Fee paid for the non-English Language Course.

4. Where a Course cannot be delivered by the University

(a) After a Commencing Student has accepted an offer to the University, and in the event that the University is unable to deliver the course or English Language Course as offered, the Commencing Student may be made an offer by the University in a suitable alternative course for a cost no higher than the cost of the originally offered course.

(b) Alternatively, the Commencement Fee paid by the Student will be refunded in full within 14 days of the provider default provisions within Section 46D the ESOS Act 2000 being reported.

(c) In the event that the course ceases to be provided by the University after it has started but before the student has completed; or the University is unable to provide the course in full as a result of a sanction imposed by a government regulator; the University will refund all unspent tuition fees, calculated as follows:

refund amount = weekly tuition fee x weeks in default period

default period = default day to the end of the period to which the payment relates

Eligibility for Refund of other Administrative Fees

5. Enrolment Fee for English Language Course: Where an ELC student withdraws from an English Language Course or deferstheir studies, the Enrolment Fee paid for the English Language Course originally accepted will NOT be refunded.

6. Study Abroad Internship Placement Fee: When a Study Abroad student is approved to withdraw the Internship Unit without penalty or when the internship placement is not secured, the University may provide a full refund of the Internship Placement Fee.

7. Special circumstances

Special consideration may be given to a fee reversal and refund request regardless of the provisions established in this policy, if a student withdraws from unit(s) or a course due to special circumstances.

All applications for consideration of special circumstances must satisfy the Guidelines for Applying for Remission/Refund in Special Circumstances (the Guidelines) and must be accompanied by independent documentary evidence.

(a) An International Student who withdraws from unit(s) after the census date and submits an application to withdraw from units without penalty due to special circumstances, and is successful in that application, will then be automatically assessed for reversal of tuition fees and notified of the outcome.Refer to the Guidelines for details regarding special circumstances and the required documentary evidence. More information is provided on the University website under Withdrawing without penalty

(b) An International Student who withdraws from a course due to special circumstances should refer to the Guidelines for details regarding special circumstances and the required documentary evidence and submit the following:

8. Refund Procedure

Where a student is eligible for a refund of fees according to the provisions of this policy, they should complete the International Request for Fee Refund form and submit the form to the Macquarie International office. Include any other required documents such as the International Student Withdrawal and Release Request. Requests for refunds should normally be made within four weeks of an event which qualifies the student for a refund.

Students who seek a refund or fee reversal under special circumstances should refer to condition 7 above.

9. Payment of Refunds

(a) Payment of refunds will be made within four weeks of receiving the International Request for Fee Refund form and any other relevant documentation, except for cases under condition 4(b) and (c) above, where the refund will be paid within 14 days.

(b) Payment will be made to an account in the student’s name, in the student’s country of permanent residence, except where:

  • the student has a valid visa beyond the conclusion of their program; or
  • the refund amount is less than $1,000 and the student has completed their studies.

(c) Payment will be made by telegraphic transfer or electronic funds transfer (EFT) and will be made in Australian Dollars (AUD) or its foreign exchange equivalent.

(d) Students who have been released to transfer to another Australian Higher Education Institution and have provided the unconditional Offer Letter of the institution, including the appropriate bank account details, can have their refund paid to that Institution.

(e) Where a student is receiving sponsorship or a scholarship and their tuition has been paid by that sponsor or scholarship body, the refund will be paid to that organisation upon receipt of their invoice.

(f) In specific circumstances where the refund must be made to a third party, the student must apply for special approval. A letter giving the reason and consent for payment to the third party, as well as evidence that proves the relationship of the third party and the student, must be attached to the International Request for Fee Refund form.

10. Appeals

(a)  If a student is not satisfied with the decision made on a refund/reversal of fees, they may submit a written appeal to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) within 28 days of the date of the refund decision. For an appeal to be considered, the appeal must address the University policy or procedure that was not correctly followed or provide additional documentary evidence that was not available at the time of the original request.

The student will be informed of the result of the appeal within 14 days of the appeal being received by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

(b)  If the appeal is not upheld and the student is dissatisfied, the student may request assistance from the Student Ombudsman Service.

(c)  This agreement, and the availability of complaints and appeals processes, does not remove the rights of the student to take action under the Australian Consumer Law if the Australian Consumer Law applies.

11. Students Ineligible for a Refund

Please see the definitions section of this policy for the difference between a fee reversal and a fee refund.

(a) Where a student has funds in their account due to a fee reversal, they can only be used to pay tuition fees and other administrative charges. They are not available for refund.

(b) A student who has funds in their account and is not completing their studies in the current study period will not be eligible for a refund unless special consideration is requested by the student and agreed by the University. The credit will remain in the student’s account and will be allocated towards tuition fees for subsequent study periods. This includes credit from:

i. Overpayment in any study period, and

ii. Withdrawal from one or more units after payment has already been made.

(c)  An ELC student who has funds in their account due to early completion of their English Language Course and has satisfied the entry requirements of the subsequent course in the packaged program will not be eligible for a refund unless special consideration is requested by the student and agreed by the University. The credit will remain in the student’s account and will be allocated towards tuition fees for the subsequent course.

(d) If a student is found to have provided false or misleading information to Macquarie University at any time, the University reserves the right to retain up to 100% of any fees paid and may annul that student’s enrolment.

6     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

· The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the Act)

· The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001

· The National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code) 

· The Education Services for Overseas Students (Calculation of Refund) Specification 2014

· The Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015

· The Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment (Streamlining Regulation) Bill 2015

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

· International Request for Fee Refund form

· International Withdrawal and Release Request

· Guidelines for Applying for Remission/Refund in Special Circumstances

· Withdrawal without Penalty Website

· Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public

8     NOTES

8.1

Contact Officer

Compliance Manager, Macquarie International

8.2

Implementation Officer

Director, International Administration, Macquarie International

8.3

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor

8.4

Date Approved

20 April 2018

8.5

Date of Commencement

20 April 2018

8.6

Date for Review

April 2020

8.7

Documents Superseded by this Policy

International Fee Refund Policy Approved 30 January 2017

8.8

Amendment History

n/a

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